Also recording a personal best Saturday was Quigley, who came in 13th out of 85 overall with a time of 19:44. Not bad for her first year running cross-country.
“We had one of the best runners in the league, and now we have two of the best runners in the league,” said Colbert. “We would’ve been pretty good without Maddie, but her coming in was a pretty big turnaround for us.”
Willmonton had noticed Quigley during winter track last year, and asked her to come out for cross-country. The two trained together over the summer and suffered through an 0-3 start to the season before eventually settling on a 7-4 record. No one could have been happier for Quigley when she finished at the CAL’s than her mentor.
“I was crying, I was so happy,” Willmonton said. “Then I saw Maddie come in, and I hugged her and we were both just extremely happy. We had both just gotten our personal best by like a minute, and we both had such a good day.”
“I almost started crying too,” said Quigley. “I was just so happy for her and couldn’t believe that I had gotten my personal best too.”
Quigley said that she hopes to continue the legacy Willmonton will be leaving her to keep the program running well, something that Colbert is happy to hear.
“I’m hoping the community really sees this success, the achievement and the improvement, and it sort of builds from there, because it’s hard to get kids to run cross-country,” said Colbert. “So to see a young lady like Maddie come out and have some success at it, I’m hoping there are other talented athletes out there who will look at it and say, ‘Yeah, that’s an option for me because it’s a great sport. It’s a sport where I could go out there and really excel and get some attention.’”